Fox's medical drama "House M.D." will end its run after its current eighth season.
In a joint announcement, executive producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs and series star Hugh Laurie said, "After much deliberation, the producers of 'House M.D.' have decided that this season of the show, the 8th, should be the last. By April this year they will have completed 177 episodes, which is about 175 more than anyone expected back in 2004.
"The producers have always imagined House as an enigmatic creature; he should never be the last one to leave the party," the statement continues. "How much better to disappear before the music stops, while there is still some promise and mystique in the air."
In a separate statement, Fox president of entertainment Kevin Reilly said, "While it’s with much regret, and a lump in our throats, we respect the decision Hugh, David and Katie have made."
Laurie, Shore and Jacobs went on to thank the "hundreds of dedicated artists and technicians who have given so generously of their energy and talent to make 'House' the show it has been – and perhaps will continue to be for some time, on one cable network or another."
Also read: Lisa Edelstein Won't Return to "House"
In fact, it's possible, though unlikely, that the show could find a second life via another outlet. In January, Reilly said he would guarantee a strong sendoff for "House" if it ends this season. He also acknowledged that it could potentially move to NBC, since it is produced by Universal Television and both the studio and network are under the NBCUniversal umbrella. NBC had no comment for TheWrap about whether "House" would find a new home with the network.
The series' ratings had been in decline, though not perilously so; for its most recent episode on Monday, the show declined 17 percent from the previous week for a 2.4 rating/6 share in the adults 18-49 demographic.Signs of trouble for the show began to emerge last May, when the series received an 11th-hour renewal for an eighth season, following a long negotiation process between Fox and NBC Universal, which owns the series.
May also saw the departure of co-star Lisa Edelstein, who had played Dr. Lisa Cuddy since 2004.